Joe Root has today stepped down as England captain after making what he describes as ‘the most challenging decision of my career.’
Root was so adamant after England’s defeat in the Caribbean that he wanted to stay in charge but with England winning only one of their last 17 tests, he bowed to the inevitable. and today offered to resign to England.
“After returning from the Caribbean and having time to think, I have decided to step down as England captain,” Root said in an ECB statement.
‘It was the hardest decision I had to make in my career but after discussing this with my family and closest people, I knew the time was right.
‘I am incredibly proud to lead my country and will look back on the past five years with great pride. It’s an honor to have done the job and be the custodian of what is at the pinnacle of English cricket.
‘I would love to lead my country but it has recently had to go home with how much damage it has done to me and the impact it has had on me leaving the game.
‘I am delighted to continue to represent the Three Lions and produce the performances that help the team succeed. I look forward to helping my next captain, teammates and coach in any way I can. ‘
Joe Root has stepped down as England Test captain after a string of poor results in recent months
Root, 31, was under great pressure after Britain’s mass defeat in the West Indies
Root bow holds the record for most matches and wins as England captain.
His 27 wins put him past Michael Vaughan, Sir Alastair Cook and Sir Andrew Strauss but he has also lost 26 Tests, more than anyone else.
Root’s 5,295 runs while leading the team are the most of any England captain and he has scored 14th 26th half a century while in the position.
Now England have the significant challenge of replacing him. Ben Stokes is the only viable candidate on the current team but there are reservations about giving him the job, especially after he took a break from playing last year to protect his mental health. .
Outside of that, the contenders on the current team are few and far between but Sam Billings, James Vince and even Somerset’s Tom Abell are likely to join.
There may also be an opportunity for Stuart Broad to leave exile to become a short-term option.
Ben Stokes (left) is the only possible candidate to replace Root in the current England team
Root can focus on his batting after finding a rich circuit in form for England at the end of the year
Since winning 2-0 in Sri Lanka early last year, England’s performance has plummeted.
Lost 3-1 to India (4 series of tests)
Lost 1-0 at home to New Zealand (two series of tests)
Trail India 2-1 to end the home series
Lost 4-0 to Australia (5 series of tests)
Lost 0-1 to West Indies (three series of tests)
ECB CEO Tom Harrison said: ‘Joe has been an exceptional role model during his tenure, balancing the demands of the Test captaincy while continuing to shine brightly through individual performances. his person.
‘He has led by example, and that has resulted in more Test wins than any other England captain, along with a number of famous wins at home and away.
‘Joe’s leadership qualities are demonstrated by the way he led the team through some of the most difficult and uncertain times we’ve ever known, playing during a worldwide pandemic, this said. says a lot to him as a leader and as a person.
‘I know that every person who has played or worked under Joe’s captaincy speaks to his integrity and humility, as well as his determination and example as a leader.
‘Off the field, Joe is no different. It has been a privilege and a huge pleasure to work with him as our Test Captain, and I know he will continue to push England cricket forward as a player. senior player, offering his extensive experience and advice to support his successor. ‘
The disappointing series defeat in the West Indies followed another Ashes defeat in Australia and a loss at home last year, all of which sent England down to the bottom of the World Test Championship standings.
England were overtaken by Australia in the Ashes series last winter, with a score of 4-0
Who will Root successfully? Latest odds
Ben Stokes 1/2
Stuart Broad 6/1
Jonny Bairstow 8/1
Sam Billings, Zak Crawley 9/1
Ben Foakes 11/1
Odds from Betfred through Oddschecker
Root was appointed as Sir Alastair Cook’s successor in 2017, having enjoyed early achievements including an impressive 4-1 home win over India in 2018.
A 3-1 away win over South Africa in 2020 is another highlight, similar to the 2-0 win in Sri Lanka at the start of 2021.
But since then, England’s form has declined, putting heavy pressure on Root to step down.
A decision will need to be made quickly on who will replace Root against England in early June against New Zealand.
Writing on Twitter, former England captain Michael Vaughan said: ‘He gave everything with very little support for the red shirt team under his watch…then he had to dealing with Covid times… he was and will be (will be) the best role model of the game for many years… now enjoy being a premium player for many more seasons. ‘
Stokes paid tribute to Root on Instagram.
“Had a great trip with you, my friend,” he said. ‘Watching one of my great teammates lead us all out onto the pitch was a privilege. You guys have given everything for British cricket and we all want to say thank you for your sacrifices and hard work. ‘
Former England captain Michael Atherton told Sky Sports News: ‘I’m not surprised. It reached the end of the Ashes, even before the West Indies tour, where a pretty obvious change was needed.
‘There’s a moment in the life of every England captain where you realize you’ve given it all and you just can’t do it anymore.
‘I think there was one particular moment in the Grenada Test where Ben Foakes was knocked out, England were sliding out and the cameras panned to Joe Root on the England balcony with a look of despair and realization. that he should have actually stepped down at the end of the Ashes because of how that Tour went.
‘They tried to secure his captaincy by removing coach Chris Silverwood and the chief executive and leaving behind some senior players, but I think it’s clear that Joe has come to the end of the road. .’
Asked who could succeed Root, Atherton added: ‘Not much. You have to choose someone worthy of their place on the side. Gone are the days where you could have the silhouette of Mike Brearley, who wasn’t necessarily the first choice.
‘Because of scrutiny, you must be worthy of your place on the side. Ben Stokes is the obvious one, and it helps that Joe Root has resigned of his own accord.
‘Ben Stokes is very loyal to Joe and he would find it a lot easier to accept the job if he were asked to assume that Root resigned of his own accord.’
Root image in the Long Room at Lord after being appointed captain back in 2017
Former England goalkeeper Matt Prior congratulated Root on his success as captain, adding: ‘Sometimes in sport results and performances – good and bad – can get in the way of a hit. people’s assessment of actual people.
‘[Root] first and foremost a great human being, and I can’t imagine how difficult the decision was for him. ‘
Yorkshire told Root he should be ‘very proud’. His club said: ‘An England and Yorkshire legend. There are many more races to come and to come. ‘
England supporters club Barmy Army called on Root to ‘be our best hitter ever’, and commentator Charles Dagnall called his departure ‘impossable’ escape after what happened this winter.’
Dagnall added: ‘The armband has not affected his form with the stick. He is crucial to England’s future success. Good luck to him and whoever takes over. ‘